Guide to Online Shopping Through Shopping Sites

December 06, 2017

A lot of us are now going online to do all our shopping needs, websites like Lazada, Shoppee, Amazon, Zalora, Alibaba, Etsy, Hallo Hallo Mall, Widget City, WeeMall and help us a lot in this matter. Why not right? it’s hassle free, you can do it in the comfort of your home, it’s delivered to you mostly for free, and they offer CODs. However there are a lot of us who has been disheartened with online shopping because of a bad experience we previously had. I’ve personally experienced both the good and the bad in online shopping, and I’ve listed down some of the helpful tips I’ve learned throughout my online shopping history to help everyone have a harmonious shopping experience.

Online shopping sites such as; Olx, and Ayosdito are not included in this consideration, as these are shopping sites for freelance sellers which leaves you to your own devices in engaging and communicating with strangers, and leaves you without a contingency plan should things go array, unlike Shoppee and Lazada which systematizes the engagement themselves making their sites a bit more safer.

Ive seen a lot of reviews and comments on shopping sites such as Lazada and Amazon. Most of them are like “Oh I bought a trendy donut inflatable and I received a super small donut inflatable that only fits my cat”or “this tent is bogus, it’s so small it’s perfect for my dog #FalseAdvertising” These are a clear example of Online Shopping Fails, the photos presented are extremely different from what has been received.

What you ordered vs. What you received 

Most shopping sites exhibit these cool photos that makes the product look extremely great but in reality are not, this is not to say that you shouldn’t trust online shopping sites, as some of them are actually visually honest.

There is a SIMPLE WAY to not get fooled by the pictures, READ THE FINE PRINT. While it’s true that some photos posted can be misleading, the fine print cannot lie, always check for the product size, the material, the “what’s in the box,” the specifications and a like. You need to read everything about the product before adding them to your cart. If it satisfies your needs, put them in the cart

Funko Pops are action figures that will never go out of style, I’ve seen a lot of these cute figurines being sold at P1,600.00 online, when in reality they are only around 400-600php. Should have I not known about this, I probably would have paid more than I should

Knowing the Market Value is imperative in Online Shopping as it gives you an idea of what price range seems to be appropriate for the product you’re eyeing. This will prevent you from paying more than you should.

Also there are sites that present false discounts (but not at all times), it may seem like you had a 70% discount on an item but in reality the discount does not exist and youre just paying for the actual price. Most businesses do this, to make it appear as if you had a huge discount when in fact you did not. Heres an example

Example of False discount vs. True Discount

Knowing the Market Value will eliminate the possibility of you being swayed by a seemingly huge discount than an actual discount. Just a tip; if youre buying it because of the sale” just don’t get it at all, buy it cause you need it.

Lastly there are online shopping sites which suffers glitches from time to time, this is normal since sites are run by people and people are not perfect. Some glitches can cause a product to be displayed at an extreme higher price than it should be. So don’t be a victim, be vigilant, and know the market value.

In online shops, as the situation maybe, you always get what you paid for. Again don’t be swayed on how the picture looks, if the price seems too low, you probably should lower your expectations. You can’t expect genuine leather for a bag that’s being sold at below 1,000php nor can you expect a genuine branded item for something far less it’s legitimate market value. 

Trust me, if couture is being sold for only P500, you'll be disappointed

This kind of problems often occur in electronics and clothing. In cases of electronics like earphones, there have been a lot of complaints about it’s quality not minding that you only paid 200php for a pair of earphones. Also sometimes cheap “branded” cosmetics are possibly knockoffs specially if the selling price is extremely different from the normal selling price

You should always take extra caution when buying items such as clothing, make up, food, supplements, electronics, and “fresh” produce.

Most cases of Online Shopping Fails fall on clothing, where the material is different, the size does not fit, it doesnt look good, etc. Some pieces of clothing are simply meant to be shopped in actual. Most of us have different body types and you maybe able to fit on the product you ordered, there’s still a possibility that it does not look good on you. But if you must, ALWAYS double check the sizing, the material, etc.

Kim Kardashian called, she wants her dress back

When it comes to cosmetics and electronics, here’s my no.1 rule; IF IT ISN’T DIRECTLY SOLD BY THE MANUFACTURER, DON'T BUY IT. However I did have experiences where I bought gadgets from resellers at Lazada that did not disappoint, but that’s not always the case for everyone. I’ve had a lot of friends who accidentally bought knockoffs which ended up badly for them, so when buying make up, just make sure that the brand is legitimate, precursors to the legitimacy on the brand is on the details, brand name, price (at fair market price), and the seller.

Take SPECIAL CAUTION when buying makeup food, supplements and “fresh”produce as these are stuff to be consumed, and should you come across a defected one, can cause serious harm to one’s self. I don’t buy food, supplements, and “fresh”produce online so I really don’t have anything in mind on how to take caution.

For those who are not familiar with the term, Cash On Delivery or COD, is a process of payment where you order your item online, have them delivered to you and then give them the payment in person. This allows the shopper to have additional control of his or her transaction, and saves them a lot of time by not falling in line at banks to pay for their products.

The reason why this is much preferred is because it gives us a sense of safety and security from being scammed, for you’d only be able to pay for the product you order UPON receiving the actual product.

Please take note that orders can come earlier than what was scheduled online so please be prepared, I experienced this one time when I thought the product was going to be delivered on the 20th of the month, which is perfect cuz payday, but it came much earlier than my salary, and I had to break my piggy bank of five peso coins just to pay a P1,099.00 product. Just imagine me counting coins in front of the delivery man. So before you order via COD always make sure that you actually have the money to pay your order regardless of the specified date of delivery

Always! and I do mean ALWAYS! read the Return Policy of the site. This is to give you a contingency plan should you find yourself fooled by the advertisement presented, or be given a defective product. Take note of the time of prescription, most sites offer up to 7 days to return a product that is with defect, or is downright falsely advertised, rest assured that online shops got your back.  

Canvas is a term filipinos use when in describing the process of searching for the cheapest price possible.

Canvas before adding to cart, most online shopping sites offer the same product in different prices. So be careful and dont be quick to click that add to cart button, check first for the cheapest offer for the very same product, and should you found one, get that one instead.

At the end of the day, safety should be everyone's priority in online shopping. Online shoppers must be vigilant, and smart when dealing online, this includes; not entertaining texts from unofficial numbers (Online sites, has their numbers registered on our service providers, this means you'll be receiving a text from someone named "Lazada" or "Shoppee") also do not, I repeat do not, give anyone your address via text, delivery men should already know that. (although some might ask for instructions)

Make no mistakes, online shopping sites are not purely bad, it can actually be good at times, as online shops provide somewhat of a protection for their shoppers, however online shopping blindly can make the experience fall terribly real quick, therefore having the right knowledge is the key to a harmonious online shopping experience. 


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